GABORONE, Botswana — South African defense equipment manufacturer Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) and Saudi Military Industries Corp. (SAMIC) have opened a joint weapons factory that will produce mortars, artillery shells and aircraft-borne bombs weighing up to 2,000 pounds.

According to the Saudi Press Agency, the facility, which is in the Al-Kharj military industrial complex south of Riyadh, was officially opened by South African President Jacob Zuma and Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman during his state visit to the kingdom last week.

According to SAMIC head Mohamed Al-Mady, the factory complex was built with the help of RDM and will specialize in the production of 60mm, 81mm and 120mm mortars as well as 105mm and 155mm artillery shells, mainly for use by the Saudi defense forces.

The factory has the capacity to produce 300 artillery shells and 600 mortar rounds per day. It was not immediately clear if any of the weapons produced by the partnership will be exported.

RDM manufactures large- and medium-caliber weapons, including mortars, artillery and an ammunition spectrum which ranges from electronically programmable medium-caliber rounds to special search fuse ammunition for artillery.

The company also specializes in propelling charges for artillery and mortar rounds, propelling powders and combustible cast parts.

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